I am Corinne Gardner, a facilitator and an author who choreographs collaborative, nature-immersive play workshops for humans. I am passionate about the evolution and emergence of humans and organisms across scales. I cover seemingly disparate science and nature topics including human potential, adaptive strategies, women’s gynecology, and forest ecology. Why? Our life experiences are interconnected! Being aware that our needs humor and emotions are not superfluous or trivial, but rather intrinsically human makes us more capable of experiencing pain and pleasure – we must befriend ourselves.
Befriending our bodies. Being a Multi-billionaire of Cells who Moves, Cries, Remembers
Nature presents branching morphogenesis! This process underlies the development of livery, mammary, kidney, and gynecological tissues in the human body and this process takes place in the growth of trees. Your body is already a beautiful resilient and powerful machine – Have you wondered why human bodies feel better directly in fresh air?
Nature’s Guide to Self-Compassion is a new social outreach project dedicated to promoting social change using compassion towards ourselves and the natural world.
Nature inspires our ideas, insights, relationships. Gathering in-person has the ability to spark a sense of wonder and curiosity in people, and this summer project may foster a platform to encourage people to explore their wellbeing and backyards for self-growth
I will provide the necessary learning tools – magnifying glasses and field journaling materials. Students will find they are curious! The project has two streams – visit schools and public events. The summer adventure learning begins:
Practice skills to deepen students’ understanding of and relationship with life
Translate principles of healthy ecosystems into transformative tools for cultivating emotional self-awareness
To distill a set of regenerative nature-inspired leadership practices relevant to their lives
Build their capacity to inspire others when they return to the community and work
At the end of the day long workshop, students will be better able to:
Identify why self-compassion is necessary for their fulfillment. Their emotional well-being intrinsically gives back to the world
Running and exploration take us out of our comfort zones so we can learn and make progress
Come away with heightened energy to plug into nature and in-person connections
One can be spontaneous and make observations in his/her backyard!
● Connect with peers who are moving their long-held visions into reality with support
The Grandview Middle School in WA has invited me to facilitate a Biomimicry-inspired workshop around social and emotional wellbeing. Science and life is about uncertainty. Being curious, being ourselves, and being inspired in nature are streams to compassion.
Introducing girls and women to science begins with encouraging them to be themselves!
My vision as a curiosity-led facilitator, runner, and naturalist guide is to encourage women to sense their emotive, tender and fierce experiences are not trivial or superfluous. To the contrary, conscious girls and women will feel rooted as perfectly imperfect bodies who move with the spinning planets. I encourage people to bring their sadness, shame, pain, confusion, joy, giddiness, fears, anxieties, and doubts to science.
Raised as a free range girl my heart has a firm conviction that physical movement brings joy, connects communicates, and alleviates anxieties held in the body. Our sense of aliveness as humans matters. It may be unorthodox to read, but our vital signs, our pulses, breathing, hiccups, knee pains, confusion, feelings are co-operating. I really love elevating my heart rate running, walking, skipping, and laughing – joy comes through me when I feel my neck pulsing and hear birds flying to the tree branches. We are alive!
Nature’s Guide to Self-Compassion is dedicated to promoting science and self-compassion for girls. Why? Nature inspires our human insights, ideas, learning and relationships. Ants to the planets spark a sense of wonder and curiosity in people, and this is a co-creative platform where people can contribute to science and exploration.
Show up and be curious about yourself and about the seemingly disparate walks of life!
Sharing hands-on experiences with students across ages inspires people to know we are all young in the scheme of the Universe. Earth alone is 3.8Billion Years Old!! Anyone who has turned 103 years old is not too old to contribute, to feel alive, and to matter!
If you are curious, feel a sense of uncertainty, and you are human, you are welcome to explore and contribute on Earth! My aim is to connect people directly outdoors with mentors from diverse disciplines who will encourage each other to stargaze and naval gaze – together, let’s be open to learning about each others’ life stories and the cosmos.
One misconception is the science field is for elite scholars who are ‘certain’. yet science is full of unknowns; we continue searching. life is a dance full of uncertainties. I have more questions than answers. And I am in love with life’s tender and fierce movement. Seemingly disparate inspirations from whales to trees to in-person connections call for humans to find their aliveness matters. Science and life merit worthwhile persistence.
I am introducing three rad women whose curiosity leads them into the unknown world.
Dr. Monica Gagliano is a researcher and professor in evolutionary ecology. She is co-editor of The Green Thread and author of Thus Spoke the Plant. She describes her imaginative experiences to dissolve our false separation with the natural world. Please watch her Bioneers talk on bioacoustics – plants yield audible, measurable acoustics.
Following the 2013 Solar Eclipse in Turkana, Susan Murabana launched The Traveling Telescope in Kenya. She persistently introduces students to astronomy! Until recently, Kenya had no planetarium, and her science outreach encourages stargazers to look up. Susan had studied science and shares her enthusiasm on taking the lens out and sharing the beauty of our skies with everyone.
Dr. Estella Leopold is an Emeritus Professor and paleobiologist. I had read Dr. Leopold had retired from the University of Washington, where I was briefly working in early May. To my surprise, she welcomed my spontaneous lunch invitation – she is 93 years of age [3,800,000,000/98]. She and I compared stories from her field work in Wyoming and her upbringing in Wisconsin. She has been teaching and conducting research for more than 60 years. Her work at the Florissant Fossil Beds in Colorado made for their preservation, an achievement which led to Estella’s receipt of the prestigious International Cosmos Prize in 2010. Her research: http://depts.washington.edu/pollen/
Emotions swell my chest as the mountains engulf me in the car going north in dusk air over lakes to Lilloett, an historic gold rush settlement promising a “Guaranteed Rugged” experience. Initially I mistakenly read the road sign as “Quarantined”. I had arrived to a place of isolation where a local gal in a cafe exclaimed aloud, “How is today goin’ to go?”
Feelings and emotions inundate my body, often stirring paradoxes and stillness. These seem far from superfluous and trivial, for we breathe hiccup pulse sneeze digest laugh yawn cry dance type navigate forgive collect and come alive with organisms. We relate.
Today my youthful hands are unravelling Lilloett soil, a progenitor passing aeons before I arrived. I am traveling to the Wells Gray Discovery Park north of Clearwater. Though I am ‘solo’, I am life-supported. I am never alone. I contribute to and impact the natural world the same way we interact with sun rain oxygen rapids and a constellation of stars
Driving into the mouth of the mountains north of Whistler (‘Whistlah’ in Aussie-tongue) compelled my mouth to come undone, open again with wonder and surprise. I was not surprised these black glacial lakes exist in the ice laden mountains, but I am struck with a burgeoning insight: the full range of feelings sneezing and sensations we experience are not “emotional problems”, “diseases”, nor “superfluous” symptoms of ill mental health. Our feelings and emotions connect us in our humanity and are experiential tools that empower us to make authentic, gut-guided choices.
The schism between human-nature and nature is a root cause of the indifference humans may carry to nature as beast, obscene, and a warehouse for resources. What is the root cause of the schism? We are subjects who experience life subjectively but we pretend to view it objectively. Our relationships with life forms across scales create co-ordinate co-create and co-evolve. Speaking for myself instead of all people, I want to be attune to the splendid, uncertain, and sometimes self-flagellating emotions as they come
I feel the most joy without the appurtenances of luxury travel. This way I put attention to riverbeds rather than fine hotel beds. My phone is inept. I dropped it on a low-tide river bed where I was writing and later submerged myself into the river to retrieve it.
Last night’s drive into the Lilloett valley introduced me to Duffey Lake, a glacial beauty with ineffably stunning peaks carving its wake. I laughed passing isolated campsites – weird people are my only concern as a single woman on the roadside overnight, yet I ironically elected to travel into a dark rugged town of loggers with flashing red lights illuminating two front doors. Multiple long driveways labeled “sheltered B&B” were lined with trucks so I drove and drove and turned around. Reaching 10p, I pulled over.
I turned the ignition and lights off. Wow! Stars excite me so to dream. Our minds are comprised of chemical interactions and “star-stuff”, as Carl Sagan wrote. I had pulled over where I could only make out a distant mountain silhouette under the studded sky.
After a silent minute, my heart pounded with fear. Ferocious feet were approaching fast. Was someone going to dismiss me? Was some weirdo arriving to find entertainment?
Then rocks dropped and my eyes made out the body of two horses whose hoooves dug. They came to the fence line adjacent in an obscured forested pasture. Sleeping overnight brought natural chills but I am accustomed to cold Wyoming winds. I value the scenery!
Sleeping somewhat upright in the driver’s seat allowed me to peer into the stars shifting Two un-manicured ragged and infected looking horses appeared right on the road at 6a when I reawakened. Their tails were disheveled and uncombed. I had felt safe overnight next to the horses, hoping its ‘caregivers’ resided nearby if I needed assistance. My impression of their owners changed when a blue truck pulled from a driveway and turned around after seeing me parked. Its driver may have left something in his home. Rather than encounter a sourdough bread of a guy, I shifted from the sleeping bag and departed. Then the blue truck slowly followed me to a side road, I turned around and identified the Rugged Bean Coffee. His tracking seemed unnecessary, but understandably so, he may have been concerned by the coincidence of a strange car parked near the horse fields when the stray horses were over the fence and wandering.
A Scottish woman and the Rugged Bean cafe owner, Ann, calls everyone love.
Overnight I had feelings of unprecedented joy and primal fear. I don’t want to have good sensations alone. I want to be alive and human. Emotions underpin our evolutionary biology. I am grateful for the rush and range of experiences co-ordinating ‘internally’ and ‘externally’. Why suppress feelings of anger, shame, guilt, hurt when I can see them with curiosity. I don’t want to deny a part of my evolving being. After all, feelings allow us to feel awe and bewilderment for life such as red cedar that also aspires to fully bloom